The UK’s 14-day quarantine on arrival measures threaten 1.2 million travel and tourism jobs and risk worsening an already "critical" situation for the sector according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
WTTC president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said quarantine would have a "significant and long-lasting negative effect" on the country’s travel and tourism sector by deterring leisure and business travellers.
Guevara’s warning comes after home secretary Priti Patel confirmed the UK’s quarantine on arrival policy would come into force on Monday (8 June), despite the government pursuing bilateral "air bridge" agreements with several European countries.
These agreements with countries with lower rates of coronavirus infection could allow travellers returning to the UK to forego the 14-day self-isolation requirement. Patel said the government would review the policy on a three-weekly basis.
With the government signalling its support for an air bridge or "safe travel corridor" regime, it is thought at least some of these arrangements could be in place by the end of the month, or early July.
However, Patel said any decision on whether to ease quarantine and permit travel to certain destinations would depend on the epidemiological situation in the UK.